Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Boldly Going Where No Concert Has Gone Before
As 2016 picks up steam, we find ourselves inundated with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the top grossing movie of all-time.
Episode seven is so ubiquitous even Amish nerds think Han Solo found the Millennium Falcon too quickly.
The franchise is just a scosh over commercialized. The other day I swear I saw an advertisement for a Boba Fett colostomy bag.
In the midst of Star Wars-this and Star Wars-that, we might forget that 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the greatest science fiction franchise of all-time, Star Trek.
That’s right, Star Trek: The Original Series (the one with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) debuted on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966.
Despite poor special effects (which would be obliterated a mere decade later by George Lucas’ Star Wars), Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future entered our hearts and captured our imagination.
Fifty years later, the franchise still has us in its tractor beam.
What’s the proper way to celebrate a franchise that’s half-a-century old?
Consume copious amount of Romulan ale?
How about a new movie; a new series on network television; a Ken Burns produced, ten hour documentary; an apology from JJ Abrahams for nearly ruining the franchise; and a 100-city concert tour?
The first five things are as likely to happen as a Ferengi giving all of his profits to charity, but that last one, the 100-city concert tour, that’s happening.
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage launches Jan. 17 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Its five-month mission ends May 5 in Houston, Texas.
The Ultimate Voyage is also visiting New Orleans (Jan. 27), Toronto (Feb. 26), Boston (March 4), Los Angeles (April 1 and April 2), and Vancouver, B.C. (April 9).
I know what you’re saying: “Isn’t Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage that one with Captain Janeway?”
You’re thinking of Star Trek Voyager. This is something completely different.
A Concert And Movie Spectacular
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is a live music event. It not only showcases the indelible music of Star Trek but it celebrates 50 years of the greatest science fiction franchise of all-time.
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is such a simple concept that we don’t even need Wesley Crusher’s help in explaining it. A live symphony orchestra plays the music of Star Trek as footage from the various television series and motion pictures are “beamed” (their word not mine) onto a 40-foot screen.
Remember, the orchestra plays live and they’ll be playing music written especially for the various Star Trek vehicles.
The show unfolds in somewhat of a chronological order from the original series to the latest feature films. You’ll be treated to music from The Wrath of Khan, The Next Generation, Insurrection, Deep Space Nine, and a bunch of other great Star Trek productions.
It total, the concert has a setlist of 29 pieces of music!
The clips that are” beamed” onto the screen also run the gamut. Look for clips from the franchise’s earliest days as well as clips from those new movies starring Chris Pine and that guy from Heroes, and everything in between.
For most of the evening, Star Trek montages will accompany the live orchestra. These montages generally celebrate one subject or another such as aliens or the various crews.
A few times throughout the evening, you’ll be treated to an entire scene.
For example, the famous fight between Kirk and Spock from “Amok Time” is shown in its entirety (more or less). These “full scenes” constitute some of the best moments of the program.
Considered yourself warned. Experiencing the aforementioned scene on a 40-foot screen might ruin your Star Trek: The Original Series DVD collection (that’s assuming you don’t have a 40-foot screen in your television room).
Another thing you should know, the scenes from the original series are taken from the updated 40th anniversary re-release. You know, when they redid the external shots of the ship and other special effects.
You’ll also be treated to rousing speeches from the captains: Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer. The music backing these speeches is inspiring stuff. After hearing it you’ll be more than ready for the Battle of Wolf 359.
As the program closes, you’ll experience a touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy as well as behind-the-scenes images of the making of Star Trek—from the first day of filming the original series to the most recent productions. Unless you’re a Vulcan or a Soong-type android, you should probably have a tissue handy.
The entire concert lasts over two hours.
“International Special Solo Instruments”
Promotional material for the production boasts that attendees will experience “international special solo instruments.” I have no idea what this means. It’s as confusing as a warp drive.
Obviously, an orchestra won’t be making the Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tour. That would make tickets more valuable than dilithium crystals.
Each tour stop is likely to use local musicians. So maybe the aforementioned phrase has something to do with that.
If there’s one complaint about Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tour it’s the narrator. Not the quality of the narration but the narrator’s identity. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find his name.
It sounds like Michael Dorn. It probably is Michael Dorn. Star Trek is one franchise that’s not hurting for great voices. It’s odd that the identity of the narrator is kept a secret especially since the production is so top-notch.
Resistance Is Futile
Star Trek fans will find this unique concert experience exhilarating and completely befitting the franchise. If you know James T. Kirk’s middle name, and you can tell the difference between a Bajoran and a Cardassian, you’ll definitely love Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage.
If you’d rather see Star War 7 for the umpteenth time than watch anything set in the Alpha Quadrant… you’ll probably love Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage.
The concert is so well done you’ll swear you’re on a holodeck. It’s that awesome.
About the only people who won’t enjoy Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage are those who don’t enjoy the power and grandeur of a live symphony orchestra—basically those who don’t like music.
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is produced by CineConcerts. That’s the same company that paired symphonic concerts and projected videos for The Godfather, Gladiator, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
CineConcerts’ founders, Justin Freer and Brady Beaubien, produced the show. Freer serves as musical director and conductor, while Beaubien wrote the script.
David H. Tanaka edited the footage and Nick Whitehouse designed the stage and lighting.
"The Star Trek franchise has for many years been an important and meaningful part of our culture in so many ways. This exciting concert experience featuring the greatest music and visuals spanning five decades will be an extraordinary and memorable event.” – Justin Freer
Star Trek vs. Star Wars
Throughout this article I’ve placed Star Trek above Star Wars when it comes to science fiction franchises. I’m not trying to slight Star Wars. It is the greatest movie franchise of all-time and I hope it lives long and prospers.
Yet, it’s barely science fiction. Saying Star Wars is science fiction is like saying The Voice is your favorite band.
When it comes to science fiction, Star Trek is mI' wa' (that’s Klingon for “number one”). After all, Star Trek actually uses science.
One of the best ways to celebrate Star Trek is by attending Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage. Not once will you wish for Scotty to beam you up. It’s a beautiful experience.
Therefore, if someone asks about procuring Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage tickets just tell them: “Make it so.”
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